Uptown Jazz Dallas

Life-in-Travel blog and XO Photography are on the cover of the Uptown Jazz Dallas Online Magazine-April 2011.

Thank you Keith Hill for the feature!!

Thank you QC and Nancy for the amazing photos and beautiful make-up!

Wish everyone a wonderful day!!xo...Hanh :)

New Sponsor: PhotoShelter

Regular readers of The Travel Photographer blog may have noticed the small PhotoShelter ad on the right sidebar. Yes, PhotoShelter has become a sponsor of this blog because I believe its products are tremendously useful to photographers and photojournalists and this is reflected by its impressive list of clients....some of who are friends and acquaintances.

I, too, have now joined PhotoShelter not because I needed another website, but because I wanted an online archive and lightboxing system, and a sales mechanism for my images. I know that the many photographers and photojournalists who constitute the bulk of my readership will benefit by joining and using PhotoShelter if they haven't already.

The PhotoShelter ad will appear in the sidebar of this site, any paid signups that occur through links on The Travel Photographer will generate a commission**, and I will occasionally write a post about how and when PhotoShelter has worked for me.  The site will remain editorially and fiercely independent as always.

If you’ve ever considered signing up for online archive and purchasing system, click on the link on the sidebar. It only costs $1 to get started on PhotoShelter on a 2-week trial.  You will be doing your photography business a favor.

** All commissions will be donated to the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop, and aimed right back at helping emerging and aspiring photojournalists.

The Revolution Thru The Lens of Heba Khalifa, An Egyptian Photojournalist

I've started to feature the work of young Egyptian photojournalists working for the local newspapers, who not only documented the Tahrir uprisings, but who also participated in the revolution.

For why I'm doing this, you can read my earlier post The Revolution...This Time Through The Lenses Of Home-Grown Egyptian Photojournalists.

This is the second part in the series, and is the work of Heba Khalifa, an Egyptian photojournalist who started to work for Al Shorouk Al Gadeed in 2008. She holds a BA in Fine Arts from Helwan University, and worked in social programs for underprivileged children before taking photojournalism as a full time career. She's the recipient of the Mohammed Mounir Award for Visual Arts, Youth Salon, Egypt (2007), and a Scholarship to Study Graphic Art, Salzburg Summer Academy, Austria (2007), and participated in the Workshop in Visual Storytelling, Egyptian Supreme Council for Journalism (2010).

For each slideshow in the series, I chose the popular "Enta Omri" or "You Are My Life" from the repertory of the legendary Um Kulthum, the Egyptian singer who was the incomparable voice of her country. I owe the idea to a wonderful multimedia essay titled Spring by Shirin Neshat in the New York Times, who also used it as a metaphor for the revolution.

Giovanni Savino: Misterios

"Oral Tradition is the most valuable of our possessions and if we don't lose it, no one can take it away from us." And so says Giovanni Savino.

Giovanni Savino never got formal photographic training, but practiced photography since a child, and started to work in film and television as a teenager. He worked alongside Dan Rather, Morley Safer, Ed Bradley and many others, and this career led him to witness and record unique historical events such as the fall of the Berlin wall, the conflict in the Balkans, the war in the Persian Gulf, etc.

A few years ago, he was able concentrate more on still photography and complete several portraiture and editorial projects, such as the one I recommend you watch...Misterios, which is on his website.

I was taken by many of Giovanni's still photography in Misterios, which is a peek in the complex and mysterious world of Vudu in New York, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Many of his still photographs of Vudu are dark and brooding, are of rich red and blurs...the reds of animal sacrifice and the blurs of ritual motion. It was these that I thought were the most compelling. I think you will agree with me.

The Revolution Thru The Lens of Eman Helal, An Egyptian Photojournalist

As I wrote in my earlier post The Revolution...This Time Through The Lenses Of Home-Grown Egyptian Photojournalists, I am starting to feature the work of young Egyptian photojournalists working for the local newspapers, who not only documented the Tahrir uprisings, but who also participated in the revolution.

The series start with the work of Eman Helal, an Egyptian photojournalist who started her career at El-Shourouk (a local newspaper) a few years ago after graduating from the College of Communications. A 25-year old, she covered the daily uprisings in Tahrir square and in Cairo, showing not only talent but also determination.

I chose a popular song from the repertory of the legendary Um Kulthum, the Egyptian singer who was the incomparable voice of her country, to accompany the series. The song is "Enta Omri" or "You Are My Life". I owe the idea to a wonderful multimedia essay titled Spring by Shirin Neshat in the New York Times, who also used it as a metaphor for the revolution.


As I said, I will post more photos of the same outfit which I wore in the previous post, but with different angles. Under the artist eyes of the talented photographer, QC. I must say that his photos are always impressive.

Yes, I adore this top; Maison Martin Margiela. You can see that I had too much fun playing with it. It's definitely one of my favorite pieces in my closet. This Fleet Ilya belt is perfect to complement the look.

Photographer: QC at XO Photography.
Make-up: Nancy Lam.

Thank you everyone for visiting and comment! Have a wonderful day ahead!xo...Hanh :)

GMB Akash: Survivors

SURVIVORS: "The invincibility of human determination to struggle and survive against all odds" is a book by Galleria di Porta Pepice of the photographs by GMB Akash.

GMB Akash is an extraordinarily gifted Bangladesh photographer, and is the first Bangladeshi to be selected for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in the Netherlands, and received numerous international and national awards. His work has been featured in over 45 major international publications including: Time, Sunday Times, Newsweek, Geo, Stern, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, Marie Claire, The Economist, The New Internationalist, Kontinente, Amnesty Journal, Courier International, PDN, Die Zeit, Days Japan,and Sunday Telegraph of London.

The Revolution...This Time Through The Lenses Of Home-Grown Egyptian Photojournalists

Photo © Eman Helal-All Rights Reserved

Since the recent effort by BagNews's Assignment Egypt (Analyzing News Photo From the 18 Days Revolution) wasn't about featuring the work of Egyptian photojournalists, I thought I'd solicit submissions from young home-grown Egyptian photojournalists working for the local newspapers, who not only documented the Tahrir uprisings, but who also participated in the revolution...in their revolution, for this blog instead.

These photojournalists are far from being "khawagas" (a colloquial nickname for non-Egyptians), they are not well-known in the Western media, they are -to borrow a word from the US military- "grunts"...hard-working people with little support except their own small local network, and who've been mistreated and distrusted by the Mubarak authorities. They've worked, and continue to work, under difficult circumstances. The foreign photojournalists who "parachuted" briefly into Egypt at the first whiff of civil disturbances did a great job documenting the revolution, but they were still "parachutists'...they were not indigenous to the revolution....sure, they documented it with a good photographic eye...sure, some of them were badly beaten by pro-regime thugs...sure, their photographs were plastered on pages of major newspapers and magazines...but they can never understand the revolution as these young local photographers did.

I know that featuring the work of these Egyptian photojournalists here may start the ball rolling, and could soon lead to larger venues where their talent can be better appreciated...I also know that generous photographers such as Eric Beecroft, John Horniblow and Michael Robinson Chavez are planning such venues. When I have all the details I'll announce them here.

In the meantime, I will feature the work of a handful of these young professionals on The Travel Photographer blog during the coming week.

Trust me...they are not marquee names, but their work is as good as that of the world-famous photojournalists.

Red and Black

When I wore this outfit, my kids said that I looked like a fashionista-bat girl. I like that! The kids have had a great imagination.

I just found these Fendi red jeans a few days ago. They were about 12 years old. I purchased the jeans before I had my kids. They were sitting in a corner of my closet. I completely forgot about them and didn't even know that I owned the pair of red jeans. Here they are...! Yeah!!! They were old, but they're new now. I'm happy! I styled them with MMMargiela black sheer top, Fleet Ilya belt, and the sexy Christian Louboutine Lady Daf platform pumps.

And yes, I had a great fun time to do a photoshoot again with QC. As you know, my husband is normally my photographer, but he is lately on and off. QC is a professional photographer, a long time friend of my big brother, and a great replacement one for my husband when he is off. QC's photos are always stunning. Thank you QC for the amazing photos and Nancy for the beautiful make-up. Nancy, QC's wife, is a make-up artist. They are a team work. Please, check out their site at XO Photography.

Thank you everyone for visiting and comment! Have a wonderful day!!

ps: Please, stay tuned for more photos of the same this outfit but with different angles under the artist eyes of talented photographer, QC. He had magic to change my outfit into the different look.

POV: My Name Is Mohammed....I'm A Driver

Tyler Hicks In Libya Photo © John Moore/Getty Images-All Rights Reserved
All of us who are connected to the world of photojournalism and photography were greatly relieved that Stephen Farrell, Tyler Hicks, Lynsey Addario and Anthony Shadid. were freed a couple of days ago from their ghastly ordeal at the hands of the pro-Qaddafi military.

The New York Times featured a compelling narrative written by the four individuals, and which describes in gripping details what they went through; suffering beatings, indignities, insults and more. The most personal cry from the heart came in the following:
From the pickup, Lynsey saw a body outstretched next to our car, one arm outstretched. We still don’t know whether that was Mohammed. We fear it was, though his body has yet to be found.

If he died, we will have to bear the burden for the rest of our lives that an innocent man died because of us, because of wrong choices that we made, for an article that was never worth dying for.

No article is, but we were too blind to admit that.
Mohamed was the Libyan driver who had been driving the four when captured by the pro-Qaddafi military, and there's no news of his fate.

While the great majority of the comments made on the article were extremely supportive, a few were not. However, this is the hard core reality of conflict and war. A split second decision may mean life or death...a turn to the left instead to the right may lead one to death or imprisonment...and being at the wrong place at the wrong time means being maimed or worse. The ones at fault for whatever happened to Mohammed are not Tyler Hicks' nor his companions, but whoever killed or imprisoned him.

Having said that, I wish Mohammed had a last name. Perhaps the article hasn't made it public for fear of retribution on his family...that would be understandable. Otherwise, not to mention it is doing him or his memory a disservice. Mohammed has a surname, has a family name...Tyler Hicks and his companions should have known it.

Photojournalists would be unable to do their jobs if not for the vital support of local fixers, interpreters and drivers. And yet, little recognition if any is granted to them. Perhaps it's the nature of the local fixers to remain anonymous so that they get obtain further assignments.

I don't know for sure...but what I do know is that I felt really sorry for Mohammed to only be known as Mohammed...the driver. Perhaps The New York Times and their journalists will eventually be able to compensate him and his family.

Feeling like Summer

Do you feel like it is summer in these photos? Although, I had this photoshoot a few weeks ago.
I'm so in love with this second hand skirt; Yohji Yamamoto. The prints of the yellow and green fishes make me happy. The skirt is very full, so I wanted a fitted top to style with it to balance the proportion. Yes, this MMMargiela bodysuit is perfect.

Photographer: QC - XO Photography.
Make-up artist: Nancy Lam.

Thank you everyone for visiting and comment! Wish you all a lovely day ahead!xo...Hanh :)

Fall 4 AFRICA Friday is HERE! - the first free-born cubs, deals, tweet ups & MORE...

image (c) Rae Kokes

We’ve been roaring to go this March! We made it to the TNT Travel show last week (great to meet everyone!), David Lee of Gobackpacking.com gave us his take on South Africa and AfricaFreak tweeted up about his 58-day Ultimate African Overlander. We also announced the birth of the first free-born cubs in Zim.  Check out the latest pix on Facebook® and Twitter® as you can meet the five furry bundles of joy online!  

Last but not least those jolly backpackers waved goodbye to the famous Zambezi rapids for another season... join us after July for some more fun and adventure and brave the waves against Nyami-nyami!

Anyone looking to head off on our 19-day Desert Tracker should get their eyes and ears round this latest slideshow and with International Women’s Day marking this month, you can still grab a 10% discount on our 17-day Zanzibar To Kilimanjaro overland expedition.  

If it’s lion cub love, why not head to Zimbabwe or Zambia, as the Rehabilitation & Release Into The Wild Project is available in both countries.  We’re discounting the 24-day South East Adventure itinerary by 25% to mark the birth of the first five free-born cubs (only £664pp (save £221pp) + local payment from £430pp). Should they survive, they will be the first lions to be released into the wild. The overland tour starts in Nairobi and ends in Livingstone allowing you to add on the 2-day African Lion Rehabilitation Project Voluntour in Zambia. £385pp + local payment from £13pp (daily departures).

According to our tour leaders it’s also been hotting up in Zanzibar so feast your eyes on the latest Acacia Africa updates live from the road and if you're booked on the following tours we have adventurers looking to hook up with you on our Facebook® page!

South West Safari from VicFalls - departing 6th April 

Ultimate African Adventure -  Nairobi to Johannesburg -  departing 19th June...

Still undecided check out our online brochure and discover AFRICA!

For all the above discounts tours (exc. local payments) book by 31 March.

John Moore: Libya, Egypt & Bahrain

The current upheavals in the Near and Middle East are providing substantial opportunities for photojournalists and conflict photographers to report on the latest battles, revolts and revolutions.

Here's a 6 minutes video interview of photographer John Moore who has just returned from Egypt and Libya as well as Bahrain, where he witnessed the uprisings first hand. This is a must-see for all emerging photojournalists and conflict photographers.

From the PBS NewHour blog: Photographer John Moore is no stranger to combat. As a member of an Associated Press team in 2005, he shared a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for coverage of the war in Iraq and he's done extended stints in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, South Africa, Mexico and Nicaragua and elsewhere in the last 20 years.

Yet despite his relative comfort with being on the frontlines, Moore told the NewsHour from his hotel room in Cairo that his latest assignment -a six-week trip that took him to the uprisings in Egypt, Bahrain and Libya - might have been his most dangerous. Moore recorded the interview for us after sneaking out of Benghazi, Libya en route back to his home in Denver.

POV: Size & Watermarks

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved
Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved
Yesterday's post with a couple of large photographs of Holi from The Atlantic's In Focus blog prompts this short POV.  I wrote that In Focus' photographs are super compelling because they are viewable either in 1280 or 1024 pixels, depending on viewers' choice.

If the 1280 option is chosen, and  the images fill virtually all of one's monitor...and give the viewers an incredible sensation of proximity to the scene...and no watermark to deface them either! It's the same feeling I get when I open up a double-truck image in a glossy large format print magazine, if not more.

I'm all in favor of large images on the web...whether it's on magazines' websites or personal websites. Another recent example is my post featuring Cristina Mittermeier's work; River People of the Amazon. Cristina's personal website has a handful of full screen photographs of these Amazonian people that are just breathtaking.

I don't think many photographers disagree with the notion that larger is better.  I've blogged about that a couple of times, and there's no question in my mind that large sized photographs are better received by photo editors who no longer have the patience to view small-sized portfolios.

The other issue is that of watermarking. I don't watermark, and instead embed my information in the photographs' metadata.  Some photographers insist in watermarking to protect their images from being pilfered on the web, and that's their prerogative. I just think it detracts from their work being considered by legitimate buyers...and it's aesthetically unpleasant. Just look at the above photographs!

Hippie me

The Colorful cloth bracelet is a gift from my friend, Melissa! I adore it.
Believe it or not, I love to cruise around the Free People website or turn pages of their catalog to see photos of young ladies in hippie casual folksy clothing with beads, hair braided, and headbands...Yes, they look like very free spirits. Here I am; Free People inspiration! I looked kinda hippie in this Free People black dress which I purchased it so long ago, but with a fancy pair of Christian Louboutin - Lady Daf platform mary jane pumps; a twist of fancy. I also gave the look a touch of edginess with an Ivan Grundahl belt. As you know, I like playing with my pieces and making an adventure of fashion.
Thank you everyone for visiting and comment! Have a lovely day ahead!xoxo...Hanh:)

NYT's Special: Asia Up Close

Georgetown, Penang. Photo © David Hagerman/NYT-All Rights Reserved
The New York Times featured its Asia issue this past weekend, and listed 37 Asian Odysseys to this remarkable continent, ranging from Bali to Vietnam, passing through Hong Kong, Laos and India. It's easy to dismiss these features as being tourist-targetted, but I've learned that it's not always the case.

Firstly, let's talk photographs. The feature is accompanied by over 40 images by Asia-based photographers; some of which are postcard-like but others that are real gems, such as the one above of Georgetown by my friend David Hagerman, others of China by Shiho Fukada, of Vietnam by Justin Mott and of Myanmar by Kevin Maloney...so quite a lot of talent there.

Surprisingly, Bhutan is not mentioned! It is in Asia isn't it?

The other reason is this: I discovered an extraordinary (and unexplored) location in Varanasi through a New York Times article, and it launched one of my long term photographic projects. So my suggestion to travel photographers is to keep an eye on all these special features...yes, the majority will be fluff, but sometimes there'll be one that may just launch you into a new direction...and success.

Naturally, such these features also provide if not outright ideas, but inspirations for photo itineraries.

The Atlantic's In Focus: Holi Too

Photo © Majid Saeed/Getty- All Rights Reserved

Photo © Manish Swarup/AP-All Rights Reserved
I predicted yesterday that there would be more submissions of this colorful festival from travel photographers and photojournalists, and featured by large photo blogs. Today, it's The Atlantic magazine's In Focus that  features 36 remarkable photographs of Holi.

The photographs appearing on the In Focus photo blog are particularly compelling because the blog allows viewers to choose between 1280 or 1024 pixels, depending of their screens.

I was tempted to feature another photograph (#12) by Kevin Frayer, but I already showed one of his yesterday, so I chose others...but as you scroll down, I bet you'll stop at this particular photograph...an  absolute explosion of red!!! And you'll do the same at his #36.

Both of the photographs I feature here are by Indian photographers, and were made at the Krishna's Bankey Bihari Temple in Vrindavan.

Fried Carrot Cake @ Permas Jaya Sunday Night Market

The Fried Carrot Cake hawker stall is located at the Sunday Permas Jaya Night Market (N1.49493 E103.81524), Jalan Permas 10/10 of Taman Permas Jaya. There are 3 Fried Carrot Cake stalls at the night market and this stall is one of it at the middle of the 300 meter long Sunday night market.

The Fried Carrot Cake hawker stall - RM3.50 (small), RM4.00 (big)

The stall is manage and own by a young couple, the guy (Mr Lee) is the one who fried the carrot cake. If you are not sure which stall is correct, just take note that...there'll be a Proton Wira parked behind the stall. Picture below :-

The stall owner - Mr Lee

Maybe because of the night market is fall on Sunday, so prepare for the big crowd along the street. And also a Long waiting queue on the stall...

The Fried Carrot Cake which are ready to pick-up! Look at the queue...

I will suggest you place your order then have a walk at the night market, after finish shopping then pick-up from the stall. Don't waste your time waiting at the stall, because it might take more than 30 minutes for your Fried Carrot Cake.

The Flavorful Fried Carrot Cake was nice and above average if compare with others, it was not salty. But I believe it can be better if it's fry with bean sprout. (Understand some customer doesn't like bean sprout)
I will visit this stall again and I prefer to have a Extra Big pack next time, because it wasn't fill up my stomach even I ordered the Big pack. :)

*  If you like to try it, be there early. I heard the Fried Carrot Cake finish before 8.30pm.

The Location Map of the Sunday Night Market at Taman Permas Jaya, Johor Bahru.